In Sunday’s (8/2) Baltimore Sun , Tim Smith writes about Benjamin Zander, the British-born conductor whose “intensely committed level of music-making from the podium has earned him cult status. Zander’s primary musical outlet during the regular concert season is in Massachusetts, where he’s the founding conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, a dynamic orchestra of professionals, students and amateurs. This week, Zander arrives in Maryland at the helm of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, which puts musicians through rigorous training and then showcases the talent on tour. The combination of eager young musicians and Zander—a born teacher, he’s also a popular motivational speaker who co-wrote The Art of Possibility with his wife—is likely to be galvanic when he leads the orchestra in works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Bernstein on Friday at the Music Center at Strathmore. … The Youth Orchestra of the Americas is assembled each summer, this year at the New England Conservatory, where Zander has been on the faculty for more than 40 years. He led the ensemble’s first public concert in 2001 and its first tour in 2002.”

Posted August 5, 2009